Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Repost edited for SA

I thought I would join some other bloggers and re post from last year. I have edited it to match this years convention. Unfortunately not much has changed.

I will never forget it, circa early to mid 90's. Every year I would attend the Baptist General Convention of Texas and subject myself and our church messengers to the onslaught of moderate opposition to anything that remotely looked like the SBC. I recall the unkind words and the absolute anger that resonated from the moderate movers and shakers in Texas. One thing I was very aware of, these folks were mad! They were mad because their vision and idea of what the SBC should be had been 'taken' from them. The Power hungry, political, maniacal, uncaring, theological blood thirsty FUNDIES had 'stolen' the convention. IT WAS A TAKEOVER!!!! And to them the machine had its eyes on TEXAS! Their battle cry? "Not on our Watch!" "We will save BAYLOR from the Fundies!" How did they save Baylor? They stole it, but that's another story. So the moderates began their campaign to 'save' Texas from the 'evil empire'. What about this fundamentalist machine, which had its eyes on Texas? Some machine! The closest thing that it ever came to what could be called a takeover was garnishing about 42% of the presidential vote one year. We could not even get a clear word on abortion through the resolutions process. What machine? The machine was so great and strong that it finally shut down and started it's own convention, which is 1/2 the size of the very moderate BGCT.There was no MACHINEThere was no attempt at takeoverThere was no back room leadershipWhat there was however was Baptist who had a differing view on how a denomination or better yet a convention ought to represent the churches in its membership. In the case of Texas, the moderates won...fair enough...Baptist vote, somebody prevails, somebody does not. That's the way it is.

In our National convention that's the way it is also. There is a political process in all of this because that is the polity to which we hold. We are a body politic. Our politics are based upon our theology, or ideology and our methodology. This is not anything new folks. Baptist have always been a people of schism. Fortunately in Texas we recognize this in the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention and we do require theological accountability in order to be a cooperating church. This works well for us on the theological level. It insures that our battles will be family affairs and will not fall under the auspice of doctrinal infidelity.There are those who see some kind of a draconian, dark, behind the scenes machine that exists in the current SBC. It sounds a lot like the conspiracy theories about the area 51 cover up, The 'illuminati', 'Big Brother' watching. No one can be in charge except the 'dark masters' say so. It really would be quite humorous except in the entire fray people get maligned and hurt. (And I do realize it cuts both ways)

The truth of the matter is the current SBC leadership is more like the town of Stanton, Texas than it is the former Moscow, Russia. On the outside of the Stanton city limits some time back there was a sign that read "WELCOME TO STANTON, HOME OF THE FINEST FOLKS IN THE WORLD... AND JUST A FEW SORE HEADS!" In Southern Baptist leadership I will assure you we have some of the finest folks around...and probably a few soreheads also! Are there people in the SBC enamored with their position? Probably. Could there be folks who say and do unkind things? I would imagine. Are there those who use their positions for personal privilege? It is certainly possible. But the truth is that most if not the very greatest part of the trustees, agency heads, leaders, movers and shakers in the SBC are folks who are just like us. They are Pastors, Missionaries, professors, teachers, deacons, mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers who love the Lord and love the SBC. There greatest concern is not the convention itself but their local church and what is going on there. They have been appointed by people who know them and respect them (And may even be related to them...GASP!!!!!!) who believe they will do a good job representing the best interest of the convention. We as Baptist trust them to do so. Almost always they do a grand job. If they betray our trust we have a system to deal with it through the convention.If we disagree with them from time to time (and we will ) we have the right to say so. And if there needs to be change, we see to it that it happens (Can you say 1979?)

But to demonize, malign, and call into question ones integrity based upon who is appointed and who is not based upon a body politic, all the while you have the privilege to take part in the same process...well that is wrong, and most Baptist know it! It also betrays the very strong convictions that the majority of Baptist hold to as demonstrated by recent votes. To say that the "machine' dictates and runs things is to say that Baptist people cannot think for their selves and regulate their own convention. Again, can you say 1979?We have a great convention...We will have a grand time in San Antonio as we meet to fellowship, sing, preach, witness and serve together. Yes, we will have a business meeting or two also...we will debate motions and resolutions. Baptist will vote, Baptist will win and Baptist will lose. Then we will all go back home to the local church where life happens. My prayer is that what we say and how we say it in San Antonio will not make our jobs even more difficult once we get home. I just wish we would practice the same thing on some of our blogs!

Jack "The Reposter" Maddox

10 comments:

joerstewart said...

How do you know about Stanton? Were you lost?

Jack Maddox said...

I once was, but now I am found!

seriously, we used to take our students to Circle 6 Ranch years ago

Jack

Batchaps said...

Jack,
I have no idea who you are but I posted this just for you in one of Burleson's blogs earlier this week; I didn't see you respond so I guess you never read it.

Also, I've posted here since I've taken up way too much space on Burleson's blog.

"FOR JRM
I did work for Dr. Richards and served on the some initial committees for the SBTC (1997-2001). I can share some stories that would perhaps cast a very negative light on some of the SBTC leaders and how things are REALLY decided in the SBTC, i.e. "Cronyism." However, instead of slinging mud and pointing fingers, I decided to move on and serve God and let the SBTC do their own thing. Remember this my friend: Satan can appear as an angel of light."

Go ahead and check with the home office in Grapevine to verify my work for the SBTC, i.e. setting up initial meetings for Dr. Seaborne and Dr. Richards in Moffat and Killeen (pastors from Bell Assoc., Tri-Rivers Assoc., & Bluebonnet Assoc.); serving on the initial SBTC Committee on Nominations (1998-2001); and working (I volunteered during my last semester at SWBTS) at the old SBTC office in Grapevine in 2001.

I can tell you that more than once, changes in the nominees were made by Dr. Richards that the committee did not vote on and presented to us 10 minutes before the vote at the SBTC; as a naive neophyte I simply acted as a "Yes man" and did not question "God's Annointed." Shame on me!

Sorry if the truth hurts. That being said, I have many friends who are NAMB/IMB missionaries whom I love dearly and will continue to support individually and through Lottie Moon.

This is yet another step towards an Ex-Cathedra leadership model yet we certainly believe that there is nothing good that comes from Rome.

Russ+

Batchaps said...

Jack,
Alcohol in a medicinal sense? You can do better than that! I know too many Doc's who would never "prescribe" alcohol, in fact I've never read of such a thing, however the medical/scientific evidence is quite clear in the effects/affects of red wine, IN MODERATION, on a regular basis.

This issue smacks of legalism.

Russ+

Jack Maddox said...

and you can certanly do better than the passage cited to give an apologetic for the christian drinking alcohol in moderation.

Come on man...your a Criswell guy...do better exegesis than that!
: )

Jack Maddox said...

by the way Russ...go ahead and drink alcohol in moderation,or defend it...I am not telling you what to do or not do. Just don't tell the SBTC what they can or cannot do as a convention!

Batchaps said...

Jack,
The way I see it, the SBTC is going way beyond what was initially set out/agreed upon to achieve. Theological agreement is bedrock in establishing fellowship in the SBTC but now that that is/has been established, it seems that non-doctrinal/biblical/theological issues are being used in attempts to "out conservative other conservatives."
This is quite a dangerous precedent, especially on the mission field where cooperation with other Christians is neccessary, if the goal is to transform culture, lead others to Christ, & promote a Kingdom agenda.
As for exegeting the text, I don't really need to because we (you & I) are agreed that alcohol consumption is not prohibited in Scripture. In fact, if I take a medicinal usage approach then Paul is saying there is a good and appropriate use of wine. Thus if it is good it cannot (by Aristotelean logic) be evil or sinful (to say that wine/alcohol is evil seems very neo-gnostic). Ultimately, I see this as an ethical issue with ethics being what one "ought" to do or "ought not" to do vs. legalism of "can do" or "cannot do" due to biblical command/mandate. What say ye? (KJV)

Russ+

BTW did I read you were located up near Bonham? I preached at Ivanhoe several years ago and love that part of TX! Where real BBQ exists (not like this nasty vinegar NC style junk here in VA).

Anonymous said...

Jack, just because you have not seen the evil going on in the takeover, doesn't mean it doesn't happen.That is not to say there are not problems in all camps of these issues but the evil that has come from the Patterson, Mohler, Ledbetter bunch is pure evil. They have left a blood trail and many victims in their wake. You are just blind to these things. I have seen tens of thousands of good men be fooled just like you. I have also seen thousands of evil acts. Yes, the norm for your camp is to start screaming to prove it, however those of us who have been scorched by the evil have moved on and there are now dozens of other schools and missionary sending agencies and churches. Yes, hundreds of thousands of folks have been save in our churches. All you can do is slander all you disagree with. Remember, most of us are pro life, anti-homosexual, pro- american, inerrantist who just got fed up with the darkness enveloping the Dark Hiddeness of the leadership and the minions who follow it blindly.

Jack Maddox said...

Anon

Thank you for your concern and comment. I am sorry you feel this way.

jrm

Jack Maddox said...

Anon

Thank you for your concern and comment. I am sorry you feel this way.

jrm